Gazprom increases its exports to Europe in 2017

Gazprom’s Chairman Alexei Miller said on 3 January that exports of Russian gas to the EU grew by 8.1 percent, reaching a new record of 193.9 billion cubic meters. Despite EU attempts to diversify its supply sources and to reduce its energy reliance on Moscow, the degree of dependence on Russian gas is still high. The Southern Gas Corridor, aiming to bring gas from the Caspian region to Europe, is an example of their project to reduce EU reliance on Moscow. 

The development and diversification of gas supply methods, combined with growing EU demand, stimulated the increase of gas imports. Representing 27 percent of Russian gas exports, Germany is the EU’s biggest consumer, while total European imports account for 36 percent. Russia’s stranglehold on the European gas supply constitutes an effective threat as Russia could use it as leverage for geopolitical means. Alternatives and vulnerability are now central topics in EU energy strategiesThe development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market opens new windows for the future, as seen with EU investments in LNG terminals in Croatia and Poland, for instance. However, it remains that the EU cannot currently do without Russian gas, said Deputy Director of the National Energy Security Fund (NESF) Alexei Grivach, as LNG infrastructure is lacking and Russia’s low gas prices. In the meantime, the EU is blocking Russian pipeline projects, such as Nord Stream 2, so limit Russian control on their gas supply.

About author: Martin Macq

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